Tirupati Balaji Travel Guide provides basic information about travelling to Triupati Balaj and Tirupati Balaji darshan. Tirupati Balaji Temple is among the richest temples in the world and perhaps the most crowded. On an average 50,000 to 100,000 devotees visit the Tirupati Balaji temple at Tirumala every day. Keeping in mind the huge number of devotees, the temple trust – Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams – popularly called TTD has made several arrangements for the comfort and convenient of devotees, so that they can have smooth darshan of Lord Venkateswara.
- Visit Sri Venkateswara Swamy Vaari Temple: The most popular tourist destination and religious attraction in the city, it is located on the Tirumala hilltop, 18 kilometres from Tirupati. Millions of devotees come here to get a glimpse of the eight-foot tall idol of Lord Venkateswara adorned with gold, diamonds and flowers and standing under the gilded dome, Ananda Nilaya Divya Vimana.
- Discover Sri Kalahasti Temple: Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Sri Kalahasti Temple is an hour’s drive from Tirupati and should be visited if you are planning a trip to Tirupati. It is reflective of the Chola and Vijayanagara styles of architecture. Famous for its Vayu Linga, which represents wind, Sri Kalahasti Temple is one of the five Pancha Bhoota Stalams. Do not forget to visit this place if you plan a trip to Tirupati.
- Savour the local cuisine: Whether it’s the laddu maha prasadam from Tirupathi balaji temple, an authentic south indian fare at a local restaurant or a delicious cup of filter coffee, Tirupati is a foodie’s delight. Some popular eateries are Andhra Spice, Hyderabad House and Maurya Restaurant.
- Do try and visit Tirupati during the celebration of their various festivals, the air is charged with energy as masses of people negotiate the crowd to pay their respects to the deity. The experience is surreal.
- Try the Prasadam offered to pilgrims by the temple, its the famous “Tirupati ladoo”. Tirupati Laddu had got Geographical indication tag which entitles only Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams to make or sell it.Many other prasadams are also available including daddojanam (curd rice), puliohora (tamarind rice), vada and chakkera-pongali (sweet pongal), miryala-pongali, Appam, Paayasam, Jilebi, Muruku, Dosa, seera (kesari), Malhora. Free meals are given daily to the pilgrims. On Thursdays, the Tirupavada seva is conducted, where food items are kept as naivedyam to Lord Venkateswara.
Tirupati:Where To Stay
While there are many hotels in tirupati, it is recommended that you book a guesthouse or Kalyana Mandapam located close to the main temple. Hotels like fortune select grand ridge, ginger tirupati, and bhimas delux hotel are hotels available at Rs. 500-3000 per night.
Tirupati:Approach to Tirumala
Either you can take a APSRTC bus from the main bus stand or if you prefer, you can traverse the path by walking. If you are walking then you have two options: either by Alipiri or from Sri Vari Mettu. Of which the Alipiri route is the default choice, only because of its popularity. But it is extremely strenuous. Steps are quite steep. It takes about 5hrs to walk up the hill from the foot steps at Alipiri. You can get the buses from the main bus stand to Alipiri where in you can move on with the fellow travellers.
Tirupati:Sequence of Darshans
On the day of your arrival at Tirupati, if you have time, then you may want to visit both Padmavathi temple and Govindaraja Swamy temple( elder brother of Lord Balaji) or you can do it on your return journey after your Darshan at Tirumala.
If you were to proceed to Padmavathi temple, try out the Kumkumarchana, for Rs.200. You and another person can accompany you for this special puja wherein you have the opportunity to closely watch the Deity as close as possible while Priests do a simple puja on behalf of all the ticket holders. Normally Fridays are rush hours. Hence temple authorities dynamically decide whether to offer the tickets or not depending on the crowd.
In any case, after proceeding to Tirumala, do visit Varahaswamy temple, near Pushkarini( Lake) as the protocal demands. Or if you are tired and wish to have the darshan of the Lord Balaji, then perform your Puja or Seva if you have booked one or straight get into the Rs.300 Q. If you have arrived at Tirumala by walk, then you have a separate Q called Divya Darshanam. This is faster than even the Rs.300 Q at times. In any case the average time would be for about 2-4 hrs you would be able to have the much awaited most sought after heavenly bliss of Lord’s Darshan.
Tirupati:Senior Citizen Special Darshan Procedure
Timings: 10am and 3pm on two occasions in a given day
Reporting timing: atleast two hours before the actual time
Register in person with due medical and identity records so that your age is confirmed to be as 65years or above.
Nearest place to go to Senior Citizen darshan entrance is either from Museum entrance or from Ram Bagicha Accommodation.
Electric cars would ferry the senior citizens from Museum and Ram Bagicha accommodation to and from the Sr Citizen Darshan entrance.
Alongwith the senior citizens, one more person “may” be allowed as accompanying person depending on the discretion of the administration at the darshan entrance.
Subsequent to the registration, the sr citizens are allowed to stay in a compartment where in some snacks/foods and milk are provided. Normally it may take anything between 0.5hr-2hr for the darshan to be completed.
Soon after the darshan is over, in the queue, sr citizen and accompaning person has the option to purchase a ticket for Laddus. Rs.20 for two at cost effective rates/ per person.( as on 6th February2016)
Come out of the main entrance and then proceed to Laddu Prasad counter right at the back of the Main temple to fetch the Laddus.